Georgia hospitals contributed nearly $47.8 billion to the state’s economy in 2015, providing more than 143,000 full-time jobs and indirectly supporting nearly 344,000 jobs, according to a report released last week by the Georgia Hospital Association. Despite these contributions, many Georgia hospitals continue to face a wide array of financial challenges that have resulted in reduced services and employee cutbacks, GHA notes. Since the beginning of 2013, six Georgia hospitals have closed and others are struggling to keep their doors open, especially in rural areas. “Hospitals have a commitment to be there for their communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but for many, just remaining financially viable is a challenge,” said GHA President and CEO Earl Rogers. “When hospitals suffer financially, access to care and services for all Georgians is at risk.”